New Delhi: Ghulam Nabi Azad, a Congress veteran and former Union Minister, quit his party of more than five decades today with a scalding attack on Rahul Gandhi, ripping into him for “childish behaviour”, “glaring immaturity” and for letting a “coterie of inexperienced sycophants” run the party.
In a lacerating resignation letter to Sonia Gandhi, he blamed her son Rahul for the Congress’s defeat in the 2014 national election – a turning point for the party that has been struggling to win elections since. The Congress was “comprehensively destroyed” and had reached a point of no return, he declared, and slammed a “remote control model” in which Sonia Gandhi is “just a nominal figurehead” while important decisions are taken by “Rahul Gandhi or rather worse his security guards and PAs (personal assistants)”.
This is the latest big exit from the Congress in the past three years and the third this year after Kapil Sibal and Ashwani Kumar.
Mr Azad, 73, said the Congress had conceded its political space to the BJP and regional parties “because the leadership in the past eight years has tried to foist a non-serious individual” at the helm of the party.
“Unfortunately, after the entry of Rahul Gandhi into politics and particularly after January 2013, when he was appointed Vice President by you, the entire consultative mechanism which existed earlier was demolished by him,” Mr Azad wrote, pointing out that Sonia Gandhi had heeded senior leaders.
All senior and experienced leaders were sidelined, he said, and “new coterie of inexperienced sycophants” started running the affairs of the party.
“One of the most glaring examples of his immaturity was the tearing up of the government ordinance in the full glare of the media by Rahul Gandhi,” he said.
Rahul Gandhi in 2013 tore up a controversial ordinance or special order to spare convicted lawmakers from disqualification and called it “complete nonsense”, embarrassing his own Congress-led government and then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.